Covid-19 Relief Response
Response to the covid-19 crisis, March-August 2020.
In March 2020, as the country went into a nation-wide lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of informal workers were stuck at their workplaces and several thousands tried to make way to their place of origin (hometowns and villages in other States or within the same State), leading to an unprecedented crisis. In cities, civil society groups and NGOs began relief efforts. We note here some of the initiatives that INHAF was a part of:
Surakshit Safar Sewa
This was an initiative of INHAF and MASHAL to help stranded urban poor, migrant labourers and those in need, to travel back to their respective homes during the Covid Pandemic lockdown.
There were three essential parts to the support provided at this time: One, was to provide relief to distressed workers and city administration workers in Pune in the form of ration kits, PPE kits and cooked meals. Second, was to set up a helpline to build a database of those wanting to return to their villages, provide an opportunity to ventilate anxieties and to ensure hope was not lost. Third, as the train fare was not waived off, those for whom travel was arranged were provided with tiffins and hygiene kits for the journey including for pre and post natal mothers, mothers with toddlers, senior citizens, ailing family members and students for needy families.
Supportive humane police machinery was the most critical element in this journey, especially all the police officers and the administration of KDMC and Thane. In addition, individuals and organisations such as Global Rights Foundation – GRF and its volunteers sustained the migrant’s morale through meetings, interactions and ration kit distribution. Committed volunteers reached out to community leaders, gathered details of migrants to support their travel, patiently responded to their queries, helped the police to control and monitor the crowds and distribute dry snacks and water as the people waited at the bus depot for more than 5 hours and engaged in distribution of dry ration kits.
Relief work in Ahmedabad
CISHAA or the Citizens for Shelter Alliance in Ahmedabad (a coalition of organisations) initiated by INHAF and other organisations including Aajeevika Bureau, Centre for Development, Centre for Labour Research and Action, Childline Ahmedabad worked together to collect donations and provide assistance to migrant workers, slum dwellers and urban poor in need of help during the lockdown.
Facilitated travel of 2300 workers by train, 500 people by bus and 160 people by air to various States.
First Train: 19 May 28, 2020 (Kalyan to Jharkhand), 700 Migrants
Second Train: 21 May 28, 2020 (Kalyan to Jharkhand), 1500 Migrants
7300 dry ration kits distributed
22,000 people served cooked meals
PPE kits distributed to hospitals, police stations and ward office sanitation workers
12 girls found freedom from forced flesh trade and have reached their home state.
Our transgender community found an opportunity to pay back to the city that has housed us for so many years.
Round 1: 2413 kits distributed
Round 2: 1838 kits distributed
Round 3: 1838 kits distributed
10,000 biscuit packets donated to children by a private firm.
Kits contained: Wheat flour, Rice, Oil, Lentils, Tea powder, Salt and Spices.
In round 1 and 2, Beneficiaries were identified through community leaders and distress calls and in round 3, there was a focus on: families with single women, senior citizens, families with physically/mentally challenged members, Families without ration cards.
Activities included Beneficiary identification, vendor identification, and community leader identification, Acquiring quotes, Transferring money, Distribution and tracking through NGOs or community leaders.
MASHAL in Pune and CISHAA in Ahmedabad including Global Rights Foundation, Aajeevika Bureau, Centre for Development, Centre for Labour Research and Action, Childline.